A variety of long guns, handguns and ammunition was turned in by citizens at the gun buyback event held by Fort Worth Police Department on Saturday.
Police recovered 78
weapons of all types during a gun buyback on Saturday, but could not
keep up with the event’s Christmas-like rush.
By 12:40 p.m., all 50 of
the $50 Visa gift cards budgeted for the event were gone. At the time,
police had collected about 57 weapons. The event began at noon and ended
before the scheduled 4 p.m. stop time, according to police.
“We’re still taking
weapons,” Pedro Criado, recently appointed commander of Fort Worth’s
northwest police division, said after the gift cards ran out. “Our goal
is to get these weapons off the street.”
Some people turned in
their weapons even though gift cards were no longer available while some
sought other options, police said.
At least five men, some
carrying signs saying they wanted to buy guns, stood outside the fenced
back parking lot area of All Saints Catholic Church, in the 2000 block of North Houston Street, where the buyback was taking place.
“Most of us out here are
collectors and we’re looking for deals,” said Michael Penney, 45, of
Fort Worth. “We start out with what they are offering here, and if that
doesn’t work, we start a friendly little bidding war.”
Police collected rifles,
shotguns, pistols, handguns and ammunition. Police were not accepting
air rifles, bows and arrows or knives, which some people were bringing
to turn in.
“A lot of people inherit
a rifle and they just want to make sure they keep it out of the wrong
hands,” said Capt. Robin Krouse. “So they bring them to us.”
Other are trying to keep weapons out of the hands of relatives who are advanced in age, Krouse said.
became popular about 20 years ago as a way to get guns off the street.
Fort Worth canceled the program in 1994, but revived it 15 years later.
In 2009, people turned in 140 guns.
Gun violence has been an
issue throughout the city, said Fort Worth City Councilman Carlos
Flores, who represents District 2 where the buyback took place.
“Anything the police can do to take guns off the street is welcomed. The
response tells us that public interest in this type of program is
The city will schedule
another gun buyback event but officers are not sure when that might
occur, according to Tracy Carter, police spokesman.
“That’s above my pay-grade,” Krouse said.